Senior Regional Operations Manager

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
[Closing date: 20 March 2020


Established in 2003, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases.

After 15 years of sustained growth, DNDi has built a team of approximately 200 full-time employees working across nine offices (Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Kinshasa, Nairobi, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Tokyo, and Cape Town).

DNDi was established in Malaysia in 2004 based in Penang, working closely with the University Sains-Malaysia. With the shift in focus in regional activities to hepatitis C, the DNDi office was moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2016.

The Operations Department was created in 2011 to help the Executive Director focus on strategic activities. It coordinates DNDi infrastructure globally (finance, operational and strategic planning, human resources, information systems and technology, legal structuring, risk management, and organizational development) and supports decision-making and flows of information across the organization. It also provides oversight to business development and legal activities and liaison offices.

DNDi South-East Asia (SEA) is looking for a manager for the Kuala Lumpur operations unit.


Purpose of the position

The Senior Regional Operations Manager is in charge of the operations unit, overseeing finance, accounting, administration, legal services, HR, business development, governance, and IST functions within the region. S/he works with the other departments focusing on business development support, contributing to fundraising strategies, and implementing various business processes to enable their work.

S/he is part of the SEA Leadership team and, as such, is expected to be participative in the development of the regional action plan, to translate the organizational goals into operations objectives and to support operationally the overall activities in the region.

This position supports the 2 organizations – GARDP and DNDi and understands the priorities and support alignment of the 2 organizations. 


Specific job responsibilities

1. Organizational effectiveness and general operations management (30%)

  • Lead planning efforts in line with the global and regional action plan, partner objectives, regional priorities, and global strategy
  • Take overall responsibility for the SEA operational system
    • Operation risk management
    • Put in place the full operations policies and procedures in compliance with local legislation and “best practices” in the non-profit sector in the region
  • Support as appropriate the DNDi´s fundraising efforts and monitor current and projected funding income
  • Represent DNDi and the regional office in external meetings with key partners, institutions, or civil society movements when required
  • May function as contact for an assigned region’s employee relations and human resources needs, and shares responsibility to resolve complex matters with the Human Resources Consultant
  • Liaise with Head of IST in Geneva to adhere to and enforce IST policy, to allow efficient local IT solution implementation

2. Finance management (30%)

  • Responsible to lead the preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation processes of the regional annual action plan and budget, and auditing processes or financial GAP in the regional office
  • Identify potentially risks impacting projects and/or DNDi activities consult with relevant leadership team members to address and provide mitigation strategies
  • Contribute to the internal control group (supporting Geneva team) and in charge to follow-up and monitoring recommendations are taken action from partners or suppliers in the region
  • Ensure that organization financial systems are robust, compliant, and support current activities and future growth and that DNDi’s assets are managed according to DNDi policies and national rules and regulations
  • Contribute to development of the financial aspects (e.g. financial planning) of donor proposals, reports, and materials to secure new funds and for grant reporting
  • Oversee and manage the procurement activities in line with DNDi’s Procurement Policy, including the management of the competitive bid process, selection of strategic suppliers, and negotiation of definitive agreements
  • Liaise regularly with Geneva (Finance, IT, HR, BF, Procurement) to ensure alignment with the global strategy of operations and mutualization of resources

3. Team management/Leadership team/representation (30%)

  • Premium inter-pare in the leadership team during the Regional Director’s absence including represent on behalf of the Regional Director on official related matters
  • Support the Thai operational development
  • Supervise the Senior Admin, HR & Finance Officer, Admin & Finance Assistant, and the HR Consultant ensuring their objectives are met and their respective areas have effective deliverables
  • Ensure proper financial/accountability management (NAVISION and local accountability) and timely financial information submission to the local BoD, local accountant firm and DNDi Geneva, including deliver all needed documents to local authorities such as Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) or Ministry of Finance
  • Support the Regional Director to develop and engage the Leadership team in the strategic growth and regional expansion of DNDi SEA
  • Monitor, manage, and improve the efficiency of support areas such as Admin, Finance, HR, IST, and Logistics
  • Facilitate coordination and communication between support functions and project/transversal areas
  • Oversee the rolling out of the global policy initiatives of DNDi policies, initiatives, and systems at the regional level

4. Governance, partnerships, and legal (10%)

  • Ensure strong integration of SEA policies and processes with the general policies and processes of DNDi, and compliance and implementation of these global policies and processes at the regional level
  • Ensure a sound regional governance model that provide an operational framework for the SEA DNDi entities that is aligned to the global strategy
  • Responsible for review of MoUs, contracts and other partnership frameworks
  • Support the Regional Director and Leadership team in the governance, oversight, and direction of regional initiatives
  • Represent and lead the development of “business cases” to support strategic/partnership decisions


Reporting line

  • S/he reports to the Regional Director – South East Asia
  • S/he has the HR & Organization Director and Finance and Planning Director, as contributing managers


  • Work with Operations team, and several departments and areas in a transversal interaction
  • S/he promotes programmes and maintains productive relationships by projecting the image of a credible partner and ensures commitment of partners


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Management soft-skills are essential (team player, flexibility, good communication, resourceful, confidence, creative thinking, empowering, self-critic, etc.)
  • Ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem-solving competencies
  • Strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments with ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
  • Organized and structured with very strong analytical skills
  • Ability to lead project delivery and ability to manage large size projects with budget management
  • Strategic thinking and leadership abilities with strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Ability to exercise high degree of independence to support programme delivery and explore new areas of activities
  • Ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders
  • Lead and motivate a team for optimum performance, supervising junior staff


  • Over 8 years in senior or supervisory role leading areas such as finance, human resources, planning, organizational development, project management
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable


  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree in Finance or Accounting required. Masters Degree in Business Administration or Finance preferred. ACCA will be a clear advantage

Other requirements

  • Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite
  • Fluency in Malay and English


Other information

  • Fixed term contract (renewable) – 100%
  • New position 2020


To apply

  • Deadline for application: accepting applications until 20 March 2020
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted 
  • Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants